ESPN: Kobe Bryant will make his season debut for the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday against the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center.
It will mark his first game since tearing his left Achilles nearly eight months ago.
D’Antoni was confident that the long layoff would not affect Bryant’s impact on the game.
“He’ll be a dominant player,” D’Antoni said. “He can play any way. He can play below the rim, above the rim, beside the rim. I mean, the guy can play any way. He’ll figure out how he’ll be effective and then he’ll come at you with everything he’s got. That’s been his M.O., and I think that’s what he’ll do.”
Love the optimism Mike, I really do. I also get that you’re the head coach and part of your job is to pump his return up as much as you can, but lets slow down just a little bit. You HOPE he’ll be a dominant player. Like I said in a previous blog there is no way to know for sure which Kobe we’re gonna see on Sunday and going forward. Could he be his usual dominant self? Absolutely. Could he also be a shell of the Kobe we’re used to? Yup.
I personally think Kobe’s return will spark the Lakers and bringing him back against a team the Lakers should be able to beat without him makes sense. But I’m not willing to declare him the savior of the season just yet. I need to see him play, I need to see him cut on that left leg in game situations. I need to see the explosiveness is still there. If it is then yeah Kobe will be the Kobe of old, but forgive me for not listening to a head coach that makes a habit out of cheerleading for his players. How many times did we hear D’Antoni gush over his players in NY? Literally every week, so lets see how Kobe does on Sunday and go from there.
P.S. Probably the most anti-climactic video of all time
P.P.S. The fact that my 500th blog on The Loon was about Kobe and The Lakers depresses the hell out of me